I made a blouse for me! My boy took this picture 🙂
I used the Summer Blouse pattern from Heather Ross’ book Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching. The pattern suggests using a light woven fabric, and I’d been wondering if Art Gallery Fabrics’ silky cottons would work well for clothing. So I threw a couple yards of Pat Bravo’s Fashion Scent Peach into the wash and gave it a nice press. I love the whole feminine vibe of this fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics Coquette line.
The book provides the pattern pieces printed on front and back, so I used my handy dandy tracing paper to make my own pattern pieces. Worked like a charm.
I marked all my fabric pieces with my Mark-B-Gone pen and serged the edges of all the pieces except for the necklines and bottom hems. I also made bias tape for the first time, using Sarai Mitnick’s How to Make Bias Tape tutorial. Her directions are so clear.
This is the front opening of the blouse, called a placket. This is my first time sewing a placket. It was pretty easy!
The blouse came together really fast. Do you like how my placket and bias tape match? It’s another print from Pat Bravo’s Coquette line.
And notice the darts – you know, the little seams at the bust sides. I followed Sarai Mitnick’s instructions on page 20 in her book The Colette Sewing Handbook. Just like she said, I started from the wide end of the dart and stitched to the tip, tying the loose threads in a knot. It worked perfectly – the tip lies flat with no puckering at all.
And then the sleeves, the scary part. I get nervous that they will pucker, since the sleeve edges are a little longer than what you have to attach it to on the blouse itself. You have to ease the sleeve in, gathering the length just a little bit to fit. Pretty tricky. And so again, I looked to The Colette Sewing Handbook for tips. Sure enough page 26 showed how to set a sleeve, with lots of pictures. Something that was new to me was stitching the sleeve from the sleeve side, not the blouse side, so that you can see the easing to ensure no fabric gets tucked as it’s sewn. Brilliant.
The last step was to attach a button on the left collar. I probably won’t ever actually button up the blouse, but it’s a decor-thing, right? I posted this photo on Instagram, asking folks which button I should use. All voted for the “one with the gold swirl”.
Such a pretty button, right? I inherited this button. It was part of my grandma’s sewing supplies. It was just one loose button, not part of a set. Wonder where it was stitched before…
Right after I finished this blouse, I wrote about it why I like to make things. My short post is published as the October 5 entry on the3six5. Go check it out!